By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer
Members of the Clovis-area Big Brothers Big Sisters resource board have collectively resigned, citing differences with regional corporate management, a board spokeswoman said.
All seven members resigned Nov. 8, according to former board president Jo Ann Tootikian.
Issuing a statement on behalf of the board, Tootikian said, “The local board could not support the procedures and policies of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast New Mexico Incorporated in regards to the management of the local Big Brothers Big Sisters program.”
The local board — which represents Curry, DeBaca, Quay and Roosevelt counties — serves as a networking resource for the Clovis office, helping match needs with providers, officials said.
Tootikian declined to elaborate on specific details of the discord.
“It was a difficult decision but we support the Big Brothers Big Sisters program,” she said, explaining it was disagreement only with the regional office that led to the resignations.
Big Brothers Big Sisters matches children ages 6 to 17 with adult mentors. Most of the children served are at risk or come from single-parent homes, according to Jill Dennis, CEO for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeastern New Mexico.
There are 30 Curry County youth matched with mentors, Dennis said. All will remain with the program, Dennis said.
The regional office, housed in Roswell, oversees the Clovis office of Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Dennis said she has no knowledge why the Curry County resource board resigned. Dennis said she received a letter of resignation that stated the board could not support the regional branch.
“It’s a really sad issue for me personally as CEO of the agency because it’s a blanket statement saying that we’re not going to support that agency in that community,” she said.
Comprised of community volunteers, the resource board does not deal with matters of policy or procedure, Dennis said.
She said the resignation has not had a negative impact on the program.
“The resource board is a definite help to an office, but is this going to stop our office from growing? No,” she said.
“Our agency is about serving kids in Clovis. Our goal is to serve kids throughout Southeastern New Mexico, Clovis included.”